The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, when a United States Senator from Wisconsin organized a national demonstration to raise awareness about environmental issues. Rallies took place across the country and, by the end of the year, the U.S. government had created the Environmental Protection Agency. By 1990, Earth Day was an event celebrated by more than 140 countries around the globe.
Deforestation is a major issue discussed during Earth Day. Researchers estimate roughly 15 billion trees in the world are cut down each year. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen for people to breathe. They also provide shelter and food for animals such as squirrels and owls. You can help end deforestation by planting a tree.
Another big problem facing our planet is access to clean, drinkable water - a limited resource in many areas. In fact less than one percent of the water on Earth can be used by humans - the rest is either too salty or too difficult to access. You can help by turning off the faucet when you brush your teeth. This simple act conserves up to eight gallons of water a day.